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Narendra Modi government hikes fuel tax, Congress not happy

Narendra Modi government hikes fuel tax, Congress not happy

IBNS | @indiablooms | 06 May 2020, 07:44 am

New Delhi/IBNS: For the second time in little less than a month, the Narendra Modi government at the Centre hiked fuel tax, now by a big margin, drawing criticism from the country's primary opposition party Congress, media reports said.

The central government on late Tuesday night hiked the taxes on petrol and diesel by Rs. 10 and Rs. 13 per litre respectively to boost the national economy at a time all revenue avenues are virtually closed due to the unprecedented, massive anti-Coronavirus lockdown which is underway in India.

However the big hike is likely to have little or no impact on consumers as the state-run oil companies have been asked to adjust the price against their hefty margin, reports said.

Earlier on Mar 14 amid the Covid-19 spread across the country, the central government had raised the fuel taxes, for both petrol and diesel, by Rs. 3 per litre.

Interestingly, the fuel prices have been hiked at a time the global crude oil prices have fallen considerably amid the Covid-19 spread. 

Congress attacks Centre

In a bid to maintain a pressure on the Modi government, which has recently faced flak for allegedly charging the ticket prices of special trains from stranded migrant workers at this hour, the Congress jumped to attack the central government over the tax-hike move.

Former Union Finance Minister and a senior Congress leader, P Chidambaram, in a series of tweets said, "New or higher taxes are justified only when the economy is booming. Tax burdens on the middle class and poor is actually taxing distress."

"Governments should GIVE money to the people in times of distress, not SQUEEZE and TAKE money from the people."

He further tweeted, "We have been pleading for cash transfers from the government to the bottom half of the people/families. Instead governments are doing a REVERSE TRANSFER of money from the people to the government! Cruel."

"New or higher taxes will impoverish families further. Governments must borrow to meet their deficits, not impose higher tax burdens when economic activity has ground to a halt." 

Congress MP Rahul Gandhi slammed the Centre tweeting, "Coronavirus is causing economic strains for crores of brothers and sisters in the country. Instead of lowering the economic burden, the government's decision to hike taxes of petrol and diesel by Rs. 10 and Rs. 13 is not justifiable and should be withdrawn."